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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Heartening Hiring News

As I  mentioned on the other thread, this may be heartening news to some. Some schools (ranked roughly b/w 25- 75) have asked me who's still on the market because they are still engaged in hiring and want to find promising candidates who are still available. If you're still on the market or know someone good who is, please feel free to email me at my fsu account.  

Posted by Administrators on February 4, 2009 at 08:47 AM in Getting a Job on the Law Teaching Market | Permalink


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I've been somewhat puzzled by the near-total silence on this blog in recent weeks about hiring decisions. On one hand, it's clear the process continues for a number of candidates. Some schools have yet to make entry level hiring decisions, so people with offers from other schools may be holding off committing while they wait to hear from the late-deciders. (My sense is economic uncertainty for a number of schools, priority on lateral hiring, etc. is part of what's fueling an unusually long-lasting process this year.) And of course the law of small numbers makes it hard to feel anonymous in sharing information about any one's contact with a particular school. On the other hand, there's definitely activity going on out there. In asking around through the rumor mill recently, I learned of offers extended by Boston College, Cornell, Minnesota, Temple, etc. - I don't think any of those have been reported by this list. And its not completely clear to me why schools themselves wouldn't want to report that they'd made (at least) first round offers. For now, my working theory is collective psychic exhaustion with the whole brutal saga. Fair enough. But I'd still feel better knowing what's going on.

Posted by: wondering candidate | Feb 11, 2009 12:29:46 PM

Dan, please define what applicants would be considered “good" per your post. Is it based on teaching interests (particular subjects), qualifications, law school rank (top #?), applicant’s rank (top #?), connections (geographic, judicial, governmental, family, financial, or political), politics, nepotism, etc.? I thank you for your post and for any post that sheds light on this obscure hiring process.

Posted by: Newcomer | Feb 6, 2009 11:09:05 PM

If anyone is interested in a legal writing position (some of which are tenure track),there are several listed under "Employment Opportunities" at www.lwionline.org

Posted by: Anon | Feb 6, 2009 2:16:43 AM

I'm "heartened" that at least some people have resisted what appeared to be some unwarranted ad hominems. To be clear, I wasn't offering myself as a gatekeeper that kept people out, I was offering to serve as a funnel to get people in! I invited any candidates to email me as well as to post their information here, and I also invited schools to post their hiring status here. In any event, I'm grateful for the support conveyed in the last few comments.

I'm going to remind comment-makers that this is a snark free zone, so don't be surprised if comments get deleted without notice, and IP addresses will be banned, if they fail to pass the test of the bloggers here, or my own delicate and super-sensitive test of what's appropriate. If comments are going to make the bloggers feel, "gah, why do I bother blogging when there are such jerks in the comments," we can just shut them down if need be. It would be sad if that happened b/c this is a blog, to my mind, where the comments are frequently at least as good as the posts...

Posted by: Dan Markel | Feb 5, 2009 10:25:32 PM


I just wanted to say that your selfless efforts are recognized by many of us. I know that there are other ways you can spend your time, and the time sacrificed on our behalf is sincerely appreciated.

Posted by: vap | Feb 5, 2009 5:22:50 PM

"still hopeful": I completely agree, such a list would be great. There have just got to be ways to make this process more centralized/streamlined.

Posted by: anon | Feb 5, 2009 2:06:26 PM

I'm just not sure why folks are upset about Dan being asked if he knows who is still on the market. I would assume that schools are contacting their friends at other schools to gather this info -- not that Dan is a singular database. I know of several schools that are still hiring, interviewing, or starting to consult their b-list.

Personally, I would really like a list of schools that have completed hiring. Although Solum's list of names is fascinating, even a more simpler list of who is done hiring and who isn't would be helpful.

I only know for certain that American and Buffalo are done. My guess is that list is much longer.

Posted by: still hopeful | Feb 5, 2009 1:31:18 PM

not too surprising to me that a portion of people would react negatively to a report of "unknown number" of openings at "undisclosed schools" between "25-75."

The hiring process is in the best of times stressful, irrational, and sometimes arbitrary. This year has been awful - the collapse of Wall Street between AALS distribution of CVs and the conference, and hiring freezes, add to the trouble. I suspect that the reaction to Dan's initial post is both interest (can I still be hired?) and frustration (why did they wait? Why ask Dan? why did I not know?). I dont think that is unreasonable, but dont think Dan is the right focus of frutration either.

It may not be satisfying, but the process is the process. Lets try to keep our civility through the rough waters, though...

Posted by: anon | Feb 5, 2009 1:24:34 PM

Quick question for savvy anon: What makes you think that "Loving" anon and "new anon" are naive and still on the market -- or were ever on the market at all? You're right about taking it out on the messenger, of course. But these just seem like broadsides aimed at Dan. They don't suggest any sort of ignorance of the back-channel side of things -- only that it's odd (if not implausible) for School X to search for candidates this way. Nor do they hint at anything about being in the hunt for a job. So, I'm curious -- and not in a snarky way.

Posted by: anon in la | Feb 5, 2009 12:29:29 PM

Oops, sorry, didn't mean to post that last message twice.

To "savvy anon" - I think everyone recognizes a lot goes on through back-channels (and by the way, as to the last sentence of your last comment, a number of people are "still on the market" because top schools are considering them, so currently being on the market does not mean anything as to one's quality as a candidate per se!). In any case, let's all remain civil.

The point just seems to be that the current system is not particularly efficient, and it would be nice if a way could be found that schools and candidates could communicate directly rather than through intermediaries (see my database idea). Of course, the database would only tell you who's available, but given that we're now dealing with a reduced number of candidates from when this all started, going through the database at this stage should be workable.

Posted by: anon | Feb 5, 2009 12:28:38 PM

I wish there was just some way for candidates to indicate in the AALS FAR form database that they're no longer on the market (either because they accepted a job or decided to pull out for other reasons). That way schools could go into the database and simply know who's out there without much to-do. Is there any serious reason this wouldn't work?

Posted by: anon | Feb 5, 2009 12:23:13 PM

I wish there was just some way for candidates to indicate in the AALS FAR form database that they're no longer on the market (either because they accepted a job or decided to pull out for other reasons). That way schools could go into the database and simply know who's out there without much to-do. Is there any serious reason this wouldn't work?

Posted by: anon | Feb 5, 2009 12:21:13 PM

Whoa -- talk about taking it out on the messenger! "Loving" anon and "new anon" seem not to recognize that much of this process takes place through back-channels, chatter, middle men and women, etc. How naive! I guess that explains why they are still on the market....

Posted by: savvy anon | Feb 5, 2009 12:17:35 PM

I've got to agree with "anon" here, not least because Dan still hasn't answered the question. Maybe schools don't want to confine themeselves to the 30 people they interviewed in D.C. Maybe they think folkswho ignored their interest before will embrace it now. But why would Dan be the perosn to connect these dots? Is he really in touch with that many fledgling candidates? Is he really the gatekeeper of all of this otherwise privte information? If so, he really should let everyone know -- and fast. THink of the efficiencies!

Posted by: new anon | Feb 5, 2009 10:28:45 AM

To the "loving" anon: Sure the hiring chair can do that, but I suspect there are faculties that are not only looking at people they interviewed in DC. Some faculties might have thought they couldn't "get" some candidates earlier and now think that they can b/c it's more of a buyer's market. And yes, people could just pore through the sheets and ask everyone about their availability, but that seems inefficient if they can rely on information from friends and colleagues about who is both "good" and available.

As to the requests from some anons to have schools post their interest here, I would welcome that here in the comments. I suspect some schools are leery of announcing their ability to hire widely in light of hiring freezes at main campus, and that might be chilling some expressions. Just a possibility.

And if you're having trouble with the regular hiring thread, please feel free to use this one. I've had some issues with that one but then they usually resolve. Perhaps it's just the sheer number of comments. I don't know.

Posted by: Dan Markel | Feb 5, 2009 9:58:46 AM

It really would be helpful to just post any info here as to what schools are still looking. Perhaps some schools are now open to also looking at candidates they didn't necessarily see in DC but that are of interest.

By the way, is it just me or is the regular hiring thread not working right now? It doesn't display when I try to load it, and if one goes through Google for it, Google says the link is broken.

Posted by: anon | Feb 5, 2009 9:31:42 AM

Hey Dan,

Anon here (again). Thanks for the answer -- or non-answer, as the case may be. I like community-building as much as the next person, and you pack lots of fun self-congratulation into your "aggregate" and "disseminate" move. (Who doesn't like doing those things, after all? And thank the lordy that you built this blog to do it for us!) But seriously: If I'm the appointments chair at, say, Wake Forest, why in the world do I need to ask *you* who might still be looking? Couldn't I just, oh, uh, maybe call the people I interviewed in D.C.?


Posted by: anon | Feb 5, 2009 1:07:35 AM

Does anyone know when the Entry Level Hiring posting goes up? As I recall, there was one last year (it went something like this School X, Hired Jane Smith, Prestigious Law Degree, Prestigious Clerkship, Prestigious LLM).

It was always fun to read that...

Posted by: not on market | Feb 4, 2009 4:44:28 PM

To the query from anon:
Fair question. I imagine anyone who's a junior might also have useful information to share; the joy of having a community-building blog is that this becomes a vehicle to aggregate and disseminate that information...

Posted by: Dan Markel | Feb 4, 2009 1:01:41 PM

As a still-looking AALS registrant, I would be interested in any advice on finding out which schools are hiring either for tenure track or visiting positions. Thanks as always for this blog's help in providing hiring info.

Posted by: anon | Feb 4, 2009 12:37:35 PM

Query: Why in the world are law schools asking *you* who might still be "available" on the market? Just a-wonderin' . . . .

Posted by: anon | Feb 4, 2009 11:38:56 AM

For the benefit of those of us who are still on the market, it would be much appreciated if schools that are still hiring would identify themselves as well as the areas in which they are looking. Thanks.

Posted by: still looking | Feb 4, 2009 11:01:17 AM

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